One High-Stakes Litigator
An underappreciated skill for any experienced litigator is putting together a team to work on a major case. Andrea Neuman ’90 does this a lot.
Neuman, who co-chairs Gibson Dunn’s transnational litigation practice group and is also a member of the firm’s appellate, class action, environmental litigation and mass tort, and international arbitration practice groups, has handled high-stakes cases in both national and international forums.
She successfully defended Dole Food in multiple high-stakes matters involving corruption in foreign jurisdictions. Neuman proved that key evidence had been tampered with and, as an American Lawyer profile noted with amusement, “coaxed one plaintiff to admit that he had been trained to testify ‘like a parrot.’” Most recently, she defended Dole against claims that it had funded the right-wing paramilitary and drug-trafficking group AUC when it was operating in Colombia, winning a complete dismissal, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in sanctions against the plaintiffs’ counsel for abuse of the discovery process.
Representing Chevron, she won equitable relief under the federal RICO statute against plaintiffs’ counsel, who was found to have ghostwritten a $9 billion Ecuadorian judgment after bribing the Ecuadorian trial judge. The Wall Street Journal called the case the “legal fraud of the century.”
Neuman’s other clients include Lockheed-Martin, Eli Lilly & Co. and Hilton International. She even defended Liza Minnelli against a claim of elder abuse allegedly brought by Minelli’s stepmother but later exposed as having been fabricated by counsel.
With a track record like that, accolades have followed: Neuman has been named one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the country and one of the top 250 women in litigation. American Lawyer named Gibson Dunn’s litigation group as its department of the year in 2010, 2012 and 2016.
Asked how the firm develops lawyers, Neuman cheerfully described Gibson Dunn’s approach as “anarchy.” Associates are not assigned to a practice group or partner; rather, they are free to pursue whatever work interests them. Partners, in turn, find the associates with whom they like to work. “It’s very important to build strong mutual relationships,” she said.
Neuman also spends a lot of time on the road — typically once or twice a month, although she recalled busier years in which she spent 80 percent of her time living out of a suitcase.
Neuman attended the Law School after graduating with high distinction from UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce. She spent the first 20 years of her career working in Gibson Dunn’s Orange County office before moving to New York five years ago with her husband and classmate, J. Fred Neuman ’90, and their two children.
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